January 30, 2004

Knowles '87 Named Football Coach

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Jim Knowles ’87 has been named the new Roger J. Weiss ’61 Coach of Football, The Sun has learned. The hiring marks the culmination of a nine-week long search that began when Tim Pendergast was fired on Nov. 25.

Knowles, who has been the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Mississippi for the past year, interviewed for the vacant head coaching position at Cornell yesterday and accepted the job this morning. He was an assistant for nine years at Cornell following his graduation from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1987, and was set to be named the new linebackers coach by University of Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan on Wednesday.

Prior to his stint at Mississippi, Knowles served as the linebackers coach and later defensive coordinator at Western Michigan University for a total of six years.

Knowles was a defensive end for the Red from 1983-1986, earning All-Ivy honors in his senior season of 1986. He also was named honorable mention All-ECAC that season.

Knowles inherits a Cornell program that suffered through several injuries this past season en route to a disappointing 1-9 (0-7 Ivy) finish. The team’s lone win came in its first game of the season against Bucknell. The Red then proceeded to lose every subsequent game, going winless in conference play for the first time since 1975. Injuries sidelined key players including junior linebacker Joel Sussman, senior quarterback Mick Razzano, senior wide receiver Chad Nice, and a host of others. The Red’s low point came in the season’s last game, a 59-7 loss to Ivy League champion Penn at Franklin Field.

He will be introduced to the Cornell community in a press conference this afternoon at 2 p.m. See Monday’s Sun for full coverage.

Archived article by Owen Bochner